Volume 561, January 2014
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||14 January 2014|
Characteristics of polar coronal hole jets⋆
Indian Institute of Astrophysics,
2 INAF - Turin Astrophysical Observatory, via Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese ( TO), Italy
3 Max-Plank-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung (MPS), 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
Received: 1 February 2013
Accepted: 15 October 2013
Context. High spatial- and temporal-resolution images of coronal hole regions show a dynamical environment where mass flows and jets are frequently observed. These jets are believed to be important for the coronal heating and the acceleration of the fast solar wind.
Aims. We studied the dynamics of two jets seen in a polar coronal hole with a combination of imaging from EIS and XRT onboard Hinode. We observed drift motions related to the evolution and formation of these small-scale jets, which we tried to model as well.
Methods. Stack plots were used to find the drift and flow speeds of the jets. A toymodel was developed by assuming that the observed jet is generated by a sequence of single reconnection events where single unresolved blobs of plasma are ejected along open field lines, then expand and fall back along the same path, following a simple ballistic motion.
Results. We found observational evidence that supports the idea that polar jets are very likely produced by multiple small-scale reconnections occurring at different times in different locations. These eject plasma blobs that flow up and down with a motion very similar to a simple ballistic motion. The associated drift speed of the first jet is estimated to be ≈27 km s-1. The average outward speed of the first jet is ≈171 km s-1, well below the escape speed, hence if simple ballistic motion is considered, the plasma will not escape the Sun. The second jet was observed in the south polar coronal hole with three XRT filters, namely, C−poly, Al−poly, and Al−mesh filters. Many small-scale (≈3″−5″) fast (≈200−300 km s-1) ejections of plasma were observed on the same day; they propagated outwards. We observed that the stronger jet drifted at all altitudes along the jet with the same drift speed of ≃7 km s-1. We also observed that the bright point associated with the first jet is a part of sigmoid structure. The time of appearance of the sigmoid and that of the ejection of plasma from the bright point suggest that the sigmoid is the progenitor of the jet.
Conclusions. The enhancement in the light curves of low-temperature EIS lines in the later phase of the jet lifetime and the shape of the jet’s stack plots suggests that the jet material falls back, and most likely cools down. To further support this conclusion, the observed drifts were interpreted within a scenario where reconnection progressively shifts along a magnetic structure, leading to the sequential appearance of jets of about the same size and physical characteristics. On this basis, we also propose a simple qualitative model that mimics the observations.
Key words: Sun: corona / Sun: UV radiation / Sun: X-rays, gamma rays
Movies 1−3 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2014
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